As Big Data gains traction it is becoming more visible that it is not just one more technology with promise of high growth potential. The Big Data opportunity is already here and is on steroids. The Big Data technology market is predicted to touch more than 100 Billion US$ by 2020 from current level of around 25 Billion US$. Further, like Internet and Mobile technologies, which lead to substantial growth in global GDP, Big Data will also have substantial impact on global economy. Big Data and industrial Internet together will boost global GDP by 10-15 Trillion US$ in the next 10-15 years. Going forward, the exponential growth of Big Data will continue, in short and medium term at least.
In order to understand the reasons behind such an uptake of Big Data trends we need to closely look at the drivers behind the Big Data phenomenon. There are five key drivers that catalysed the growth of Big Data.
First, we have more data now than we ever had in past and even more is expected in the future. Various reports are available documenting about how the world’s annual collection of data moved from about 1-2 Exabytes in 2000 to 2700 Exabytes in 2012 with a projection of 40,000 Exabytes in 2020. This is not at all surprising as we continue to add data from our operations, partners, third parties, public departments, civic bodies and customers.
Second, today we have more computing power and better and economical ways to harness it. Due to the technology evolution compute power has grown substantially, the fastest supercomputer is more than 10.000 times faster today than it was in 2000, and the average desktop power has increased more than 100 times in the same period. Further due to cloud economics a massive amount of compute power is available on demand. Cloud computing enables access to an extreme level of compute power on pay for what you use model, a completely different economic dynamic than in the past. With cloud, companies can scale IT infrastructure without having to allocate cash for up-front capital and then amortize equipment over 5 years. With more individuals and organization adopting the cloud this trend will continue for long and so is the case of more powerful computing hardware.
Third, there are a lot of innovations and developments in software for unstructured data. The majority of new data is unstructured—social media posts, video, audio, pictures, research articles, etc. The new tools, like Hadoop and NoSQL, are giving companies data workhorses that can crunch any amount of data thrown at them. Also, most of these tools are open source and are also available on Software as Service model, having a profound impact.
Fourth, analytical algorithms are advancing in several areas, most importantly with machine learning. This has led to lot of activities in futuristic technology space including areas like robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, speech recognition, facial recognition, fraud detection, and medical diagnoses to name a few. Advancement in analytical algorithms has also disrupted various traditional domains like financial markets, retail, weather forecasting to name a few with better capability to predict what is going to happen.
Fifth, the uptake and evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT) has made a substantial impact on everything from consumer electronics to military equipment. IoT has enabled most physical objects like handheld devices, machines, vehicles, buildings and other items to collect and exchange data. The substantial improvement in technology driving IoT includes embedded electronics, software, and network connectivity. IoT is also at the heart of technologies such as smart grids, smart homes, intelligent transportation and smart cities that are future of our society.
In conclusion all these factors are both drivers and are driven by the developments in the Big Data ecosystem, hence we have exciting times ahead if we want to leverage true potential of Big Data.